Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a household without a dishwasher. It allows you to clean dirty dishes quickly and saves you a lot of work. A dishwasher is also more environmentally friendly than washing dishes by hand, as it uses water more sparingly.
With our dishwasher test 2021 we want to help you find the perfect dishwasher for you. Which one it is depends on your personal preferences and ideas. We present the most important features of a dishwasher and compare the different installation types to make your purchase decision as easy as possible.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Dishwasher: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and rating criteria for dishwashers
- 5 Decision: What types of dishwashers are there and which one is right for me?
- 6 Guide: Frequently asked questions about dishwashers answered in detail
- 6.1 What are the advantages of a dishwasher?
- 6.2 What sizes of dishwashers are available? Which one is suitable for single or family households?
- 6.3 Which dishwasher fits in my kitchen?
- 6.4 What is the difference between A+, A++ and A+++ for dishwashers?
- 6.5 Which is better in a dishwasher: cutlery drawer or cutlery basket?
- 6.6 What are the alternatives to a dishwasher?
- 6.7 How loud is a dishwasher?
- 6.8 Who installs dishwashers?
- 6.9 How do you clean a dishwasher?
- 6.10 Where can I refill special salt / rinse aid? Why does my dishwasher stink?
- 6.11 Where can I buy spare parts for my dishwasher? When should a dishwasher be replaced?
- 6.12 Where can you dispose of your dishwasher?
- A dishwasher not only saves you time and effort, but also your wallet. The dishwasher uses less water than hand washing and gives you a better result at the same time.
- A basic distinction is made between five different installation types: Undermountable, integrable, decorable, fully integrable and tabletop. Which type of installation suits you depends on your preferences and kitchen design.
- In general, 45 cm dishwashers are ideal for 1-2 person households and 60 cm dishwashers for family households.
The Best Dishwasher: Our Choices
Buying and rating criteria for dishwashers
Below you will find different aspects to distinguish and evaluate dishwashers. The following criteria can be used to compare dishwashers:
- Energy efficiency class
- Installation type
- Number of programmes
- Number of place settings
- Energy consumption / year
- Water consumption / year
In the following sections we explain what is important for each feature.
Energy efficiency class
Since 1996, the Europe-wide energy label has been mandatory for all electronic household appliances. This enables the consumer to immediately recognise the efficiency of the appliance. Only dishwashers in the energy efficiency classes A+++, A++ and A+ may be sold.
The A+ dishwasher is the cheapest to buy. However, its higher consumption can make it more expensive in the long run. On the energy efficiency label you will also find other properties of the dishwasher. One important one is the drying effect. This indicates how dry the dishes are after the wash cycle. The ranking ranges from A to G, where A stands for the best and G for the worst drying effect.
Basically, a distinction is made between five different installation types: Undermountable, Integratable, Decoratable, Fully Integratable and Tabletop.
As different as we are as people, our preferences and priorities are just as different. While a student tends to go for small, simple appliances like the tabletop unit, family households are more likely to find integrated appliances.
Generally speaking, the front of an undercounter dishwasher is still visible, whereas an integratable, decorable or fully integratable dishwasher can be colour-matched to the kitchen by attaching a furniture front.
When deciding on the dimensions of the appliance, the size of the household plays the most important role. But cooking habits are also an important criterion in the selection process; if you cook a lot and like to cook, you will go for a larger model.
45 cm is suitable for 1-2 person households, 60 cm for family households. Many companies now offer additional widths of 55 and 90 cm. All installation types are offered between 81 and 92 cm high. Important for this decision, apart from the factors already mentioned above, is the space you have for installation.
Number of programmes
In general, a distinction is made in the number of programmes between actual programmes and special functions. The latter can only be added to a programme, for example "Extra Dry", "Intensive", "HygienePlus" or "SpeedPlus". The number of programmes in a dishwasher varies depending on the manufacturer and price range.
However, nowadays every dishwasher should have an Eco programme. This programme should always be preferred to other programmes, as the dishwasher does not heat the water as much in this case. This saves you money as well as electricity. A suitable programme should be selected depending on the type of dishes and the degree of soiling. The more a dishwasher has, the better.
Number of place settings
Another tool to help you determine the size of your dishwasher is the number of place settings (MGD). This is a standardised method and, according to DIN EN50242, comprises a total of 11 parts:
- 1 soup plate
- 1 dinner plate
- 1 dessert plate
- 1 cup
- 1 saucer
- 1 glass
- 1 knife
- 1 fork
- 1 soup spoon
- 1 dessert spoon
- 1 teaspoon
If the model description states MGD10 as the nominal capacity, then 10 place settings must fit in the dishwasher. This standard is a good way of estimating which dishwasher will meet your needs.
The EU energy label indicates the maximum noise emission of the dishwasher in decibels (dB) in the bottom right-hand corner.
Quiet dishwashers have a value of around 40 decibels. Some manufacturers offer "silence" programmes, whereby noise can be reduced to as low as 32 decibels. However, there are also loud dishwashers that make it difficult to have a conversation nearby. The value of these appliances is over 50 decibels.
In addition to the output noise of the dishwasher, the placement of the dishes and the installation of the appliance have an influence on the volume.
Energy consumption / year
Manufacturers state the energy consumption per year in kilowatt hours (kWH) on the energy label. This is based on around 280 wash cycles with conventionally soiled dishes. Older dishwashers consume a lot more electricity than new appliances.
But there are also differences among the newer dishwashers. If you are looking for a particularly economical dishwasher, you can save additional money. Dishwashers with an energy efficiency rating of A+++ consume a lot less than A+ appliances, making them the best dishwashers on the market.
Water consumption / year
At the bottom left of the energy label is the water consumption per year in litres. Here, too, the manufacturers assume 280 wash cycles. As with electricity consumption, the age of the dishwasher is an essential factor in determining water consumption. An older appliance consumes up to 40% more than a new dishwasher.
However, the water consumption of new appliances also depends on the programme selected. Another significant advantage of a new dishwasher is that the dishes no longer have to or should be pre-washed by hand. This is particularly good for your water consumption, but also for the environment.
Decision: What types of dishwashers are there and which one is right for me?
If you want to buy a dishwasher, there are five types of products you can choose from:
|Under-mountable||The appliance can be installed under the worktop, but does not have to be||The front of the dishwasher remains visible.|
|Can be integrated||The dishwasher blends in with the kitchen design, the appliance front is no longer recognisable||The appliance must be installed under the worktop.|
|Decorable||The dishwasher has its own mounting frame. These decor panels are available in various colours||The appliance must be installed under the worktop.|
|Fully integrable||The dishwasher fits perfectly into the kitchen. It is not visible from the outside||Operation is only possible when the door is open.|
|Table-top||It can be installed anywhere in the room. It can be used mostly with and without a water connection||The appliance does not blend in with the kitchen.|
An undermountable dishwasher can be a freestanding dishwasher on the one hand and an undermount appliance on the other. A freestanding dishwasher is, as the name suggests, an appliance that can be placed freely in the room. It is often referred to as a "stand-alone appliance". It can, but does not have to be integrated into a kitchen.
An undercounter appliance, on the other hand, must be fitted under a worktop and is the simplest way to integrate a dishwasher into a kitchen. In both cases, the front of the appliance remains recognisable.
The integrable dishwasher blends into your kitchen design. The front of the appliance is no longer visible, only the control panel/display of the dishwasher peeks out of the thick wooden "panelling".
At first glance, the decor-compatible dishwasher does not seem to differ from the integrable one. But the decoratable appliance has its own frame on the front, to which only a thin decor panel is attached.
A fully integrable dishwasher fits perfectly into your kitchen. When you look at the kitchen, you don't see it at first glance. The dishwasher can only be operated when the door is open, as the bar is located on the top of the appliance.
A tabletop appliance is suitable for single households and is simply placed on the worktop. It consists of one level, so there is no space for a cutlery basket, nor for pans / pots.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about dishwashers answered in detail
What are the advantages of a dishwasher?
Another advantage is that you can put the dishes in the dishwasher immediately after use and the kitchen is tidier.
What sizes of dishwashers are available? Which one is suitable for single or family households?
- Single households: 45 cm
- Family households: 60 cm
Which dishwasher is suitable for which household depends on several factors, such as your cooking habits.
Which dishwasher fits in my kitchen?
If you want to operate the dishwasher without having to open the door, for example, an integrable or decor-compatible dishwasher is more suitable than a fully integrated one.
What is the difference between A+, A++ and A+++ for dishwashers?
Which is better in a dishwasher: cutlery drawer or cutlery basket?
It's up to your preference what you choose.
What are the alternatives to a dishwasher?
The only alternative to a dishwasher is washing dishes by hand:
What you ultimately choose depends on your preferences and cooking habits.
How loud is a dishwasher?
- 32 decibels: This is an extremely quiet dishwasher.
- 40 decibels: The appliance is quiet. Some manufacturers also offer a "Silence" programme, which can reduce the noise level to below 40 decibels.
- Above 50 decibels: The dishwasher is very loud during cleaning. It can be difficult to have a conversation next to it.
To give you an idea of the decibels, a television set at room volume emits 55 decibels.
Who installs dishwashers?
- Alone: Many new buildings already have the appropriate connections.
- Installation team: Especially if a new kitchen comes with the dishwasher included, an entire installation team will come to your home and install all the electronic appliances in your kitchen.
Basically, laymen are advised not to install the dishwasher themselves.
How do you clean a dishwasher?
Where can I refill special salt / rinse aid? Why does my dishwasher stink?
However, it can happen that food residues get stuck in your dishwasher after a while. There are various home remedies for this:
- Put a lemon peel in the cutlery basket/drawer.
- Clean your dishwasher with vinegar.
- Make sure you occasionally turn up the rinse temperature to kill bacteria.
Where can I buy spare parts for my dishwasher? When should a dishwasher be replaced?
There is no exact point in time when your dishwasher should be disposed of. You should replace it when rust starts to form. Or when you notice that the desired cleaning performance is no longer available, despite regular care.
Where can you dispose of your dishwasher?
- Recycling centre
- Dealers: If you have already ordered a new dishwasher, the dealer will usually dispose of your old one.
Please do not dispose of the appliance in the woods or household waste.
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